Wollumbin stands as a majestic mountain in a bowl – shaped valley surrounded by a ring of mountain ranges, the Mt Warning Caldera.
Wollumbin stands 1157 metres high today. Twenty million years ago, it was the main plug or outlet of the massive volcano from which poured lava, forming the mountqains and reefs in the north-east corner of New South Wales.
Wollumbin has more than one legend attached to it. Some are linked to the origin of the name, Wollumbin. Some people also say Wollumbin means cloudcatcher or weather-maker; others say it means Warrior Chief or Turkey.
Here are the stories about the Warrior Chief and Turkey.
Wollumbin – The Warrior Chief
The word, Wollumbin, is also said to mean warrior or fighting chief of the mountain. Legend has it that the spirits of the mountains were warriors. The wounds they received in battles are the scars on the mountainside, and the thunder and lightning are the results of their battles.
If you look today towards Wollumbin from certain angles, you will see the face of the warrior chief in the mountain outline. Wollumbin is a very sacred initiation site for men. In traditional Aboriginal life only the fully initiated men could go to the top of the mountain.
This importance and the legends that remain today, demonstrate the significance of this sacred and imposing mountain on people of the valley.
Wollumbin – The Turkey
Once, a long time ago, turkeys could fly greater distances than they can today. Well, one turkey flew from Mt Brown. He had joined a gathering of other birds talking, when a giant bird approached. All the birds, the turkey too, were so frightened they flew away quickly. The turkey flew all the way to Wollumbin, stopping on the top of the great mountain to catch his breath, but as he rested, he was wounded in the head by a spear from a warrior. Because of his head wound, the turkey’s flying ability was impaired.
That is the reason why turkeys today can fly only short distances before they must rest; and if you look at Wollumbin you can see the mountain top has a small bend in it where the spear hit the turkey. The mountain tip is the point of the warriors spear.
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It is so wonderful that we have access to Bundjalang language and that we can keep it going by using it in our everyday lives with the names of local animals, plants, places, body parts etc.